MOFA announces trial of visa-free treatment for Philippine nationals

Created:2017-10-16Data Source:Bureau Of Consular AffairsCounter:6729

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will begin a trial on November 1 offering Philippine nationals visa-free entry to Taiwan for up to 14 days. The new measure, in line with the Executive Yuan’s New Southbound Policy, was decided at an interministerial meeting that MOFA convened on September 15 for representatives from government agencies dealing with national security, police administration, investigation, immigration, tourism, and the economy and trade.

Philippine nationals applying for visa-free entry into Taiwan must: (1) hold a standard passport valid for at least six months (excluding holders of diplomatic and official passports); (2) hold a confirmed return plane or boat ticket, or a confirmed plane or boat ticket, along with a valid visa, for an onward destination; and (3) have a clean criminal record, as verified at immigration on arrival at an airport or seaport in Taiwan. Philippine travelers will also be required to fill out an arrival card, and provide immigration officials at the port of entry with proof of hotel reservations or an address and contact details for where they will be staying in Taiwan.

This trial is being done to attract Philippine visitors to Taiwan for tourism and business purposes, as well as to increase people-to-people exchanges between the countries. It runs until July 31, 2018, and will be reviewed for further extension. Meanwhile, the government will urge the Philippine government to reciprocate with visa-free treatment for Taiwanese nationals.

Taiwan has previously adopted a range of visa-relaxation measures targeting the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations. On October 7 last year, the Philippines was incorporated into Taiwan’s eVisa program. And on June 1, 2017, the Online Application for ROC (Taiwan) Travel Authorization Certificate scheme was expanded to allow free applications for multiple-entry visas by people from Southeast Asia who have been issued with a visa (excluding labor visas) or resident certificate (excluding those issued to foreign laborers) within the past 10 years, and who have a clean criminal record in Taiwan. Online applications for eVisas were also made available to members of group tours organized by designated travel agencies.

These above-mentioned visa-relaxation measures will, however, no longer apply to Philippine travelers once the visa-free trial is launched on November 1.

According to statistics from the National Immigration Agency, Filipinos made a total of 161,303 visits to Taiwan between January and July this year, a year-on-year increase of 73.51 percent over the 92,967 visits made in 2016.